There’s a Spider in the Bathroom

I noticed it this morning before my shower.  It’s sitting up by the ceiling, above the medicine cabinet.  About the side of a nickel (counting the legs).

It’s a white spider, which my mother-in-law claims is the sign of a clean house.  Join me in a guffaw.

Let’s get something clear.  I don’t pick up dead spiders.  I will squish one with a shoe and leave it there until my husband gets home to clean up the carnage.  He no longer bothers to ask me why there is a random shoe sitting in a random spot.  He knows to grab a tissue and clean up what’s under the shoe.

That’s our system.

I can’t use a shoe on this spider because I can’t think of a way to make the shoe adhere to the wall in a way that won’t damage the paint.  Duct tape is out of the question, as is gorilla glue.

The weird thing is that the spider will probably still be there in the same spot when my husband gets home this afternoon, which leads me to the inescapable conclusion that spiders are, by their very nature, suicidal.

Maybe being one of the ickiest creatures on planet earth triggers their self-loathing, I’ll-just-sit-here-until-John-gets-home-so-he-can-squash-me attitude.

I can think of no other logical explanation.

I had a writing point. What was it?

Oh, yeah.

If I sit on a story while waiting six months for a publisher to get around to rejecting it, I start to feel like that suicidal spider.  Just sitting there.  Not moving.  Not looking for an alternative.  Knowing full well that if I don’t hear from them in three weeks it’s not going to end well.  Waiting for the publisher to whip out a shoe and squash me.

I’m not cleaning that up.


Sequel to a Not Yet Published Book

My audacity of late knows no bounds.

I’m circulating a story about a boy named Winthrop, a story I feel very confident about.  I worked on and polished it for about a  year, all told.  My writing group gave it the thumbs up.  So sure am I that it will eventually be published that I’ve taken the heretofore uncharacteristically bold step of writing the sequel before the first story has sold.

Long before I finished writing it, I knew the story would need a sequel, and perhaps even a third book.  I have a strong little character I can work with and a couple of very basic plot ideas kicking around in my head.  The plot is not fully formed.  Right now, I’m more focused on the dialogue.  This particular character has a distinctive way of expressing himself.  When I wrote the first story, most of his dialogue came before the plot was figured out and I built the story from there.  That would probably give most writing teachers a case of hives, but it worked well in this case.

It often happens that a story will first present itself to me as a line that pops into my head.  In Wombat Wings (see Stories for Children), the line was, “I’ve never heard of a sillier thing than a wombat who needs wombat wings.” The story just unfolded from there.

Other stories present themselves as a sense of place or period of time.  I have a number of character names and story titles waiting for me to fill in the blanks.  There doesn’t seem to be a pattern to my creativity at all.  It I tried to cram myself into one, I’d probably never write again.

I’m rather enjoying my 2015 resolution to fight for my dream of being published.  If you’re holding back and not aggressively submitting your own work, I beg you to rethink that strategy.  If you believe your story is ready to be seen, get it out there!

Damn the torpedoes!